Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken.”
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion.
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
May you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!
Brothers and sisters:
We do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,
Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
After a week journeying with Job in the scriptures, we land on the readings for marriage this Sunday. It may seem like there is no connection but when we read in Genesis, the perfect marriage arrangement by God before the fall of man, we can compare the way things were with Job before the devil was given permission to bring trials upon him.
Job had a relationship with God that was pure, faithful and humble, but through the envy of the devil, death, pain, and suffering came into Job’s life. As Job endured and suffered patiently, God brought an end to his suffering and blessed him with great abundance: prosperity and children.
As Jesus is talking with his disciples about divorce, the ill effect of sin and the separation of God from his people, he asserts that God’s plan is for reconciliation with his people and never to be separated from them. As Jesus suffered death for our sake, we too suffer various trials, but it is all for our purification as the bride of Christ.
Marriage, as a sign of union with God as the bride of Christ, means for us that we have been redeemed from death and set apart to be happy with God forever. We are restored by our fidelity to Jesus and we can overcome the attacks and wiles of the devil.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that I can be made pure through the sufferings that you send to me. Thank you for the prosperity you promise me and the blessings of new life. May I always remain faithful to you, to lean on you in times of trouble, and share with you all my joys. Amen